CRAZE to ring in 2016

Annual year-end festival to bring thousands of residents together

By KIRAN MALIK-KHAN, Connect Contributor

Volunteers and staff of the Regional Recreation Corporation of Wood Buffalo at last  year’s CRAZE at MacDonald Island Park. PHOTO: Layla Underwood, Regional Recreation Corporation of Wood Buffalo

Volunteers and staff of the Regional Recreation Corporation of Wood Buffalo at last year’s CRAZE at MacDonald Island Park. PHOTO: Layla Underwood, Regional Recreation Corporation of Wood Buffalo

It’s the end of the year, and that means it’s time for the CRAZE. The annual New Year’s Eve family event will begin at noon on December 31 at MacDonald Island, and Shell Place, featuring Jordan McIntosh as the headline entertainment.

Canadian performing artist, and 2014 CMAO Rising Star Award recipient McIntosh “has toured with performing artists such as Emerson Drive, Brett Kissel and George Canyon. With 145 tour dates since 2014, McIntosh has developed a strong following and continues to grow in popularity,” according to the official release.

Presented by Fort McMurray REALTORS® the CRAZE will feature a fireworks display at 6:05 p.m. Other highlights include a balloon drop, the Fort McMurray Oil Barons Practice, Public Skate and Autograph Session, dog sled rides with Mush McMurray, public skating on the Molson Outdoor Rink at Shell Place, Learn to Curl with the Oilsands Curling Club, Movie Zone with the Wood Buffalo Public Library in the Grand Ballroom at Shell Place, Speed Climb and Obstacle Course at the Climbing Wall, Visual Arts Workshops, Indoor Playzone at the Indoor Turf Field House at Shell Place. In addition, perennial favourites like face painting, balloon artists, and bouncy castles are part of the line-up.

Theresa Wells, Communications Coordinator, Regional Recreation Corporation of Wood Buffalo, said the event has become highly anticipated over the years.

“All activities are free as per previous years, which I think is really one of the key parts of this annual event. As for favourite, I would venture the entire event, as a free family day, has become an annual favourite and truly one of our favourite events to deliver every year. It’s quite magical as it brings community members of all demographics together for a giant celebration. However, the annual fireworks which close the event are most likely one of the most anticipated aspects every year.”

Fort McMurray’s favourite New Year’s Eve celebration starts at noon on December 31 at MacDonald Island Park.

Fort McMurray’s favourite New Year’s Eve celebration starts at noon on December 31 at MacDonald Island Park.

“Oil Barons were with us last year, so this is the second year we will have a practice, public skate and autograph session with them, Mush McMurray is new to the Craze but this one is weather dependent as we need to have enough snow for the sled dogs. This is the first year we will be using Shell Place and the Molson Outdoor Rink, and marks the first time the outdoor rink under the canopy will be open to the public,” Wells continued.

Olive Wooden, Executive Officer of Fort McMurray REALTORS® added, the group is delighted to be a presenting partner for the celebration.

“This is the fourth year the Fort McMurray REALTORS are the primary sponsor of the CRAZE. We are happy to support a community event that celebrates all families in the area with a great fun-filled day,” noted

Also new at The CRAZE this year is Morton the Magician, a character based on a popular children’s book of the same name. He will perform an interactive and entertaining magic show in the Main Stage Entertainment Zone.

A full event schedule and details for The CRAZE can be found at macdonaldisland.ca.

– Connect Weekly –